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Santa Monica labeled as one of the most unsafe cities in California

Santa Monica named as one of the most unsafe cities in California 03:13

Santa Monica, one of the county's most popular tourist sites, ranked near last in safest cities in California in a new report from

"It's humiliating," said lifelong resident Janet McLaughlin. "Terrible, That's why we have a group called Santa Monicans Against Crime. We've been trying to get the word out. I feel really bad for people who don't know, like tourists." 

The Safewise ranking uses two factors for its safety ratings: property and violent crime. According to their report looking at 230 cities, with a population of 90,474 Santa Monica recorded 6.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 42.6 property crimes per 1,000 people making it the 224th safest city in the state. In 2021, they ranked 222nd.

"Everyone is in a constant state of alertness and nervousness, it seems," said Santa Monica City Councilman Phil Brock. "Everybody's looking over their shoulder."

Brock said he and other officials are working to improve safety around the city. He believed that an increased police presence, neighborhood watch groups and keeping people off the streets will help solve the increase in crime. 

"Not to let them go unattended," he said. "From street services to medical services we are actively stopping those people from being on the streets." 

In response to the ranking, the city issued the following statement: 

"Santa Monica is more than a community of approximately 93,000 residents and there are significant factors that make our City unique. Swelling with an average daily population of 250,000 visitors throughout the day and during peak seasons, Santa Monica serves as a jobs center and a hub for state, national and international tourism which  attracts millions of visitors each year.  

"To provide an accurate depiction of crime in the City, it is necessary to look at of its average daily population of  250,000, not 95,000, as that provides a more accurate depiction of crime in the city.  The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) did reach out to SafeWise to determine the source of their metrics.  In their discussions, Safewise indicated that they do not take into consideration the daily commuter and tourism metrics and agree it does impact the overall impressions to crime. They do provide a disclaimer sharing that in their study as they understand there are a variety of factors and such metrics are not clear.   

"In February of 2022, the Santa Monica Police Department did a five-year analysis of Part I crimes.  In their findings, there is a decrease in Part 1 crimes (Burglary, Arson, Murder, Rape et al) from 2021 to 2022 and in February of 2021 there were 740 Part 1 crimes.  In February of 2022, there were 655 Part 1 crimes.  In 2020 there were 598 Part 1 crimes, in 2019, 722 and in 2018, 804. Crime has fluctuated throughout the last five year but as we stand today, we are experiencing a reduction in our violent, reportable crime statistics.    

"While the SMPD is pleased that the overall numbers of reported crimes are down, the City and police department remain vigilant and are working hard day-in and day-out to address the crime that occurs in our community. SMPD's Community Affairs team continues to attend neighborhood and business district meetings, host events like coffee with a cop, and working to educate our community members about crime that is occurring in Santa Monica. Our focus and attention to issues of crime and community safety is unwavering."     

Two cities in the region ranked lower than Santa Monica with Compton at 225th and San Bernardino at 228th. 

Rancho Santa Margarita and Moorpark ranked second and third respectively. 

"That's not the Santa Monica we all knew and loved," said McLaughlin. "We still love it but we want it to be safer."

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